Kingsgate to sell gold ‘sludge’ from shuttered Chatree mine

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Australian gold miner Kingsgate Consolidated has claimed a small victory in its ongoing feud with the Thai government after being granted permission to sell the gold and silver “sludge” at its shuttered Chatree mine in Phichit.

Kingsgate subsidiary Akara Resources ran the mine until December 2016, when it was shut down by order of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha on grounds it was leaking toxins. The company disputed those claims and is seeking Bt30 billion compensation from the Thai government. Chatree was the largest gold mine in the country.

Kingsgate said on September 10 it had received permission from Thai authorities to sell gold and silver sludge from its Chatree processing plant worth Bt320 million. The sludge is being shipped to a Thai refinery for processing.

Said a Kingsgate press release: “Whilst this move is long overdue, Kingsgate sees it as a small but positive step, and seemingly as an act of good faith, indicating a new willingness by the Thai government to pursue a negotiated settlement between the two parties, a process [Kingsgate] has advocated for some considerable time.”

Both parties in the dispute are currently awaiting a ruling from an independent arbitration tribunal.